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The Theory of Public Law in Germany 1914–1945 †

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies , Volume 25 (3) – Jan 1, 2005


Oxford University Press
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The Theory of Public Law in Germany 1914–1945 †


Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3 (2005), pp. 525–545 doi:10.1093/ojls/gqi026 STANLEY L. PAULSON* 1. Introduction John Austin was appointed on 27 July, 1827 to the Chair of Jurisprudence at the newly founded University College London. No friend of natural law, he faced from the beginning a major question: What was he to teach in the name of jurisprudence? Part of the answer stemmed from what he had learned from Jeremy Bentham.1 The rest of the answer came from what he would learn during a sojourn in Germany, where, in 1827–28, he studied pandect law.2 In making his way to the Continent, Austin was following a well-established practice, lamented by William Blackstone: [A] fashion has prevailed, especially of late, to transport the growing hopes of this island to foreign universities, in Switzerland, Germany, and Holland; which, though infinitely inferior to our own in every other consideration, have been looked upon as better nurseries of the civil, or (which is nearly the same) of their own municipal law.3 †A review of Michael Stolleis, A History of Public Law in Germany 1914–1945, trans. Thomas Dunlap (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004). See n 10 for details on Stolleis’s multi-volume
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